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Meet Malcolm Griggs of Griggs Designs in Birmingham

Today we’d like to introduce you to Malcolm Griggs.

Malcolm, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
I’ve always been pretty particular about placement and making things look nice from an early age. I remember stories about me as a toddler throwing fits because I wanted to pick out my own clothes versus allowing my parents to do so. The same with organizing & cleaning. After I would straighten up a space, my family could walk in and instantly know I had done the cleaning. Growing up in the 90’s, you almost naturally gravitate towards technology. I remember my dad setting up a very old computer in the dining room and the first software I ever played with was Paint. Who knew these small elements would help shape my future?

Fast forward to college planning I was still wondering what I wanted to be when I grew up (I still haven’t figured it out). Although my parents pushed forms of Medicine and Engineering as careers, I wasn’t really feeling it. I knew I wanted a Business based background and that I had a love for tech. After the acceptance letters rolled in decided to attend The University of Alabama. I then wondered into an Open House for Management Information Systems and the rest was history. I guess we all won in that choice since MIS is where business and engineering intersect; I’m also employed as a Network Engineer in the banking industry.

Throughout my college career at UA I worked on several real-world projects resulting in solutions that met business needs with sleek designs. My responsibilities ranged from being technical lead, client liaisons, front-end developer, project manager and more. I gained valuable experience in application development, frameworks, marketing, etc. but that’s not how I got interested in graphic design, at least I didn’t think I was.

I really got started in design post-graduation. I took on the role of maintaining websites, social media platforms, producing blog content and driving engagement as a Consultant. That company I worked for at the time later re-branded and that process sparked my interest in designing as a business venture. Playing on those interests, I volunteered with a number of local non-profits around town at that time and one needed a flyer for an event. Being on the leadership team of a non-profit, you aim to save money and utilize resources on hand. With that being said, I threw my name in the hat and volunteered to create. Since then, I haven’t stopped creating for friends, family, entrepreneurs, and organizations.

Placement has always been a ‘thing’ for me and I think it always will be. Who knows where this design journey will take me? I’m looking forward to the ride.

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
The road looks smooth from a distance, but you can easily come up on a pothole and need a spare afterwards. I try to ride clean and ride slow though, ha! But seriously, I’ve hit about every pothole you can think of. Where do I start? Griggs Designs really started as a hobby for me so I’ve lacked on the business side and the ‘formal’ training side of things.

I’ve had issues with time management. Balancing a career, being a husband, a father, son, friend and being a business owner presents many challenges; it’s a work in progress. As a matter of fact, my wife is reading me the honey do list as I type. I’ll add communication, and structure to the list as well.

Experience really is your best teacher; you don’t know what you don’t know. Sometimes you just have to jump in head first and figure things out. Starting a business can come with a bag of every emotion possible. I don’t have it all figured out and that’s ok. I’m grateful to have people in my corner that I can go to for help. Despite those potholes, I’m thankful for the support that I’ve received over the years from family and friends. Seriously, word of mouth referrals, social media shares, business tips, etc., it’s all appreciated.

Alright – so let’s talk business. Tell us about Griggs Designs – what should we know?
At Griggs Designs we help bring your vision to life. Griggs Designs is a graphic design team based in Birmingham, AL. Our work focuses on crafting brands and designing solutions for our clients in order to help them better connect with their audience. We enjoy applying our skills and experience to each project that we take on. We offer design services for business cards, flyers, announcements, invitations, logos and more! From creative problem solving and innovative ideas, we always bring a strong eye for detail and a positive attitude in everything that we do. If you’re looking for help with crafting your brand or event visuals, feel free to reach out!

I would say we are most proud to be a part of the lasting memories and impact our clients are making. If it’s a first birthday party invitation for their children, wedding announcements, a giant check to a scholarship recipient, a logo for a community service project, etc., we are excited and proud to be a part of those moments and causes! Another great part of the gig is witnessing clients take their brand to new heights with marketing. I love seeing a design I’ve created be displayed with honor on office doors, yard signs, step and repeats, packaging, websites and more! We enjoy helping clients present themselves in the best way possible.

I think our family-oriented culture sets Griggs Designs apart from others. From initial consultations to product launch, we average somewhere around three weeks invested into our client (of course that may vary depending on the type of service they inquiry about). But during that time, we really get to connect with our clients and get to know them. We are almost in constant communication, bouncing ideas off of each other and passing along relevant information, a lot of the same things you do with family and close friends. Once you invest that kind of time, you want to see that business win.

Our clients really become a part of the Griggs Designs family. I’m always networking and I’m constantly nurturing the network that embraces me. Working in graphic design, clients range from various backgrounds with a host of products and services. As I come across request for recommendations that our clients can fulfill, you can bet that they will be promoted. We’ve actually started putting together a preferred list of vendors for our clients that’s just branching out into the business world.

Any shoutouts? Who else deserves credit in this story – who has played a meaningful role?
First and foremost, my God above deserves it all! My wife Jocquelyn Griggs, for the nonstop support. She supports me when I’m stressed, need a break, struggle, and achieve. She continues to push creativity, especially when it comes to designs for her Real Estate Business.

My parents Glenn & Jonia Griggs, and siblings Glenn, Naomi, and Asa have always been influential examples in regards to me making a lane for myself. Over the years I’ve gained a healthy work ethic and various business skills from them all. My late Grandmother Phyllis taught us all the importance of saving and having funds set aside for the rainy days.

My friends for constantly pushing me and putting me in positions where I’ve learned and grown. Huge thanks to my college roommate and good friend Denzel LaRon Evans- Bell of Growth Strategies, LLC for sharing business knowledge and extending a helping hand.

My network and my clients deserve credit as well. Without them, I wouldn’t be where I am today. Thanks for the opportunity to create! For every lead I convert, I try tracing the source in the consult so that I can follow up with a thank you. You won’t believe how many times I’ve been left clueless when a client informs me on who referred them; for that I’m thankful!

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Donald Love, Love Photography
Logo by Griggs Designs

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